New Yorkers can now trace family who lived in the state or merely passed through on their way to other parts of the country through state census records available online for the first time.
Ancestry.com announced Wednesday it had posted the records as the result of its partnership with the New York State Archives and the State Library.
Ancestry.com has digitized and put online the 1925, 1915 and 1892 New York census records, resources showing changes in the state in between the decennial federal census, experts said.
Todd Godfrey, senior director of U.S. content acquisition for Ancestry.com, said the 1892 New York State census was particularly important because the 1890 federal census was destroyed by fire.
Ancestry.com, an online family history resource, also announced it has indexed the recently released 1940 federal census for New York, which will allow searching by name, age and other categories. Ancestry.com, which charges a fee for some content, is making the 1940 census for all states available free through December 2013.
The state censuses -- available at ancestry.com/newyork -- are free to New Yorkers without limit, Godfrey said.
Ancestry.com has put 19 New York records online to date.
"It's great for the archive, because they get the digitization completed. And we can share the product" with the public, Godfrey said.
Kathleen Roe, New York State Archives' director of archives and records management, said ancestry.com and familysearch.org, another online genealogy service, are providing wider access to history by adding online records that had been available only on paper or microfilm.
"What it lets us do is make these resources available online and faster than we could have ever done ourselves," Roe said.
Roe said the New York censuses -- the 1925 state census was the last conducted -- represent "a really important major period" for immigration to New York and the country. "So many of them came through New York. You get a tremendous sense of all different neighborhoods and ethnic groups and the changing nature of American society."
In an unrelated release of census data tailored to New Yorkers, the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center launched a website -- http://www.1940snewyork.com -- this month that has information, maps and photographs from a 1943 publication, the 250-page "New York City Market Analysis." It provides statistics from the 1940 U.S. Census, complemented by information about local socio-economic trends.
"It's a treasure trove of information that paints a picture of what life was like in New York on a local level," said Steven Romalewski, director of the center's CUNY Mapping Service.
Websites with NY census records
Free access to ancestry.com requires a New York ZIP code. The site contains numerous state records, including the New York censuses from 1892, 1915 and 1925, but also Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, World War I Veterans' Service Data, World War II Enlisted Men's Cards, even the Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920.
The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center.
It contains material based on the 1940 Census for New York City and other materials compiled by a 1943 publication commissioned by several newspapers of the era called the "New York City Market Analysis." It includes maps, photographs and statistical information that can be accessed by borough, neighborhood or on a citywide basis. Browse using a computer mouse over a spot on a map, and a pop-up window gives information about the area. Also, typing in a ZIP code in the search box will display 1943 information about the location.
Here are some of the site's neighborhood links:
Greenwich Village: http://bit.ly/LoPHyx
Manhattan's Upper West Side (then known as Central Park West): http://bit.ly/LoQaRe
South Bronx (then known as "North New York"): http://bit.ly/LoQrng
Flushing, Queens: http://bit.ly/LoQEqz
Williamsburg, Brooklyn: http://bit.ly/LoQNdF
Stapleton, Staten Island: http://bit.ly/LoQXl5